Morgantown, West Virginia – Prior to this offseason, it was expected that West Virginia sophomore Oscar Tshiebwe would be the first Mountaineer player to be drafted in the NBA Draft. He is, afterall, an incredible athlete, who has unmatched rebounding abilities in the college game, is built like a grown man and has tremendous upside as a defender and offensive player.
However, Bob Huggins recently revealed that when NBA scouts and General Managers call him to ask about his players, the first player they bring up is Miles “Deuce” McBride.
“I think Deuce has improved tremendously. I think he’s really studied being a point guard and being able to get other people involved, but at the same time he is probably our best guy at creating his own shot. I can tell you that from a standpoint of calls and interest from people at the next level, he’s the first name out of their mouths. I know that shocks some of you, but that’s the first name out of their mouth.”
McBride, a 6’2 sophomore guard out of Cincinnati, Ohio, has become a more complete player and is now the leader of the Mountaineers. A member of the Big 12 All Freshman Team last season, McBride has taken his game to entirely new level in his second year.
According to NBA Draft projections, we may not see McBride in Morgantown much longer. USA Today’s predicts in their latest mock draft that McBride would be the #13 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft if he decided to leave West Virginia after this season.
“Miles McBride was an efficient scorer out of the pick-and-roll during his freshman campaign in 2019-20. West Virginia also had the third-best defense in the country, per KenPom, aided by his 1.1 steals per game. His defensive box plus-minus ranked third-best among all high-major freshman.”
In addition to McBride, USA Today’s 2021 NBA Mock Draft projects Oscar Tshiebwe to go in the first round of the draft next year. Tshiebwe is projected as the #24 overall pick in the draft.
“Oscar Tshiebwe brags an enormous wingspan measured above 7-foot-4, which helps him on both ends of the floor. He recorded the best offensive rebound percentage among all D-I players in 2019-20, via KenPom. He also helped West Virginia record a top-three defense in college basketball. He is projected to lead the NCAA in rebounding (9.7 per game) next season, per Bart Torvik.”
Although West Virginia fans would love to have McBride and Tshiebwe playing for the Mountaineers for many years, both have transcendent talent that belongs at the next level, and this could very well be the final year for them in Morgantown.